Gotta love a local produce market!
So... this is a blog post from a little while ago, as we've found the wifi in Panama pretty elusive.  It was a few days after Christmas, and time to venture into the street markets of Colombia to restock our fresh foods in order to  s t r e t c h  our leftover holiday items into full meals.  I made sure I had plenty of small bills and reusable bags before walking the 10+ blocks.   Luckily a friend offered to show me around, otherwise I'd have to keep my nose in a street map and miss seeing all the sights - like the ceviche street vendor with folks lined up in front of his cart, the young police men stationed at major intersections to 'keep the peace', and the lady sitting in a simple school desk along the sidewalk selling 'minutes' to recharge cell phones!  I quickly realized that I could find almost anything I needed (and lots that I didn't need) on the tables lining the sidewalks - alarm clocks, belts, fake crocs, clothes of all kinds, jewelry, and even used TV remotes!?  But the make-shift sidewalk mall took up half of the walking space, forcing the bustling crowds to squeeze through a tiny space, bags and all just bumping along.

Note the young posse member on the left!  I feel safer already.
Fresh limeade and coconut milk on ice - perfect on this steamy December day!

Walk up recharging station for your cell phone!

Black Market liquor sold along the streets

By the time we made it to the actual fresh market, it was mid-morning and a steamy 90+ degrees.  The stalls were filled with fresh fruits and vegetables.  My senses were filled with bright colors and vibrant smells of pineapple, cilantro, oranges, and peppers.  The fish market wasn't so pleasant in the heat of the day, so we shuffled through that section without a second glance.  We also opted out of the fresh meat stalls, grabbing only a quick photo to document the sight.  When we happened upon the cart full of limes, we relished the citrus smells and bought a bagful for the equivalent of only 50 cents!  The people here are very honest and friendly.  I figured out that if I just asked for a monetary amount's worth of something, it was easier than asking the price.  I'd approach the lady selling red peppers and ask, "para dos mil?," and she would fill my bag accordingly.  Once, when I was buying oranges, I picked out six, but the vendor thought I needed a few more to make it worth my money!

Fresh Fish???
Hmmm... suddenly I feel very vegetarian.
Mojito time!
Tayrona people of the Sierra Nevada visiting the big city
On our way out of the market, we saw them... the leftover turkeys.  The rejects.  The poor turkeys who hadn't made it to the Christmas table seemed to be dying a slow death in a small, wooden cart.  I'm not sure which turkeys had it worse, the eaten ones or the ones that were leftover!  They were eerily quiet and calm, just waiting.   I continued to contemplate their fate as we sipped local brew at a small cafe on the way back to the marina.  A toast to the dear old birds...

Gobble, gobble!


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